Galaxy S21 FE Might Have One Big Advantage After All

Watching the Galaxy S21 FE story unfold is a bit entertaining, almost like observing a hero's journey in progress. Right from the start, it almost seemed like it was doomed to fail, and only a Samsung exec's bullishness provided hope for its survival. Now it seems that the journey is about to come to an end, and just like any hero, the Galaxy S21 FE might actually come out victorious thanks to one seemingly insignificant detail that could turn out to be its killer feature.

Image Credit: LetsGoDigital

As its name suggests, the Galaxy S21 FE is a "Fan Edition" of this year's Samsung flagship. It will carry some of the essential features of the Galaxy S21, like its design, its processor, and some of its cameras, but in a much more affordable package. That usually translates to a "glasstic" back and some compromises in the rest of the specs or the materials used.

The phone was almost canceled, at least according to rumors, mostly due to the ongoing supply constraints that plague many industries, especially consumer electronics. Samsung was reportedly forced to prioritize where its chips would go, which meant reallocating Snapdragon processors or cutting production targets for the Galaxy S21 FE. It is now believed that the phone will be delayed to January, but that delay may have actually worked in its favor.

According to SamMobile, the Galaxy S21 FE will launch with One UI 4 and Android 12 right of the bat. This actually wouldn't be possible if the phone launched as scheduled in October, or even if launched this month. If it's true, this makes it Samsung's first phone to launch with Android 12, beating even the Galaxy S22 series that is expected to debut a few weeks later.

This already gives it a huge advantage over the Galaxy S21, though it might not exactly be that obvious. Going beyond just the version number, this means that the Galaxy S21 FE will be entitled to get updated to Android 15 when that arrives. Since the Galaxy S21 started out with Android 11, however, it will receive its last major upgrade with Android 14, possibly in 2023.

The actual threat to the Galaxy S21 FE's success, however, will be the base Galaxy S22 model. Depending on the price, the reportedly smaller phone might offer better value and will come with Android 12 out of the box, too. It will most likely get more attention as well since it's a part of the flagship series rather than just a "fan edition."